Tech Marinade
Uncovering Hidden Innovation in DIY Electronics
Introducing Tech Marinade Guides
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 4.4.2014 Editorial

As a new component of the Tech Marinade experience, we are now introducing informational guides to complement our tech news articles.

Over the next few weeks, we are working to roll out information pages that document every tool and technology available for electronics prototyping to production. Guides will include information on prototyping boards, oscilloscopes, software packages, enclosures, and any other number of items we think you might want to learn about. Think of it as a massive Maker encyclopedia. We hope that this consolidated informational guide will help introduce you to technology that can help you with your projects and make better decisions about the tools you need.

The final format is still undergoing work and there is a lot of content to add. We might open it up to editing in the future, but we feel we need to get the databases primed. It’s an open-ended experience.

Our very first entry is for the Raspberry Pi. Check out the page and tell us what you think!

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Updates To Tech Marinade
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 2.23.2014 Editorial

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If you have been following our website you probably noticed the visual changes. Crisper boarders, easier to read fonts, and prettier colors are a few of the alterations made to the Tech Marinade style. We believe when it comes to websites, good visuals and user experience go hand in hand. To that end, there will be a few additional updates to the style to make sure our layout fits our new content we will add soon.

On the topic of new content, the visual update is one step out of three in our grand plan to make Tech Marinade a staple of the “Maker” community. Step two will bring more informational content to TM which we think is lacking around the internet. Imagine you are planning a project, but you know an Arduino Uno will not give you enough power or connections. Tech Marinade will soon be your resource for helping you make the best decisions on prototyping tools and devices.

Step three will be to make the website more accessible by improving site performance and implementing a responsive layout for the benefit of our mobile users.

Stick with us as we continue to make a bigger, better Tech Marinade. We will continue to keep you up to date on tech news and announcements. Don’t forget to let us know what content you want to see posted; just send us an email!

Stay real,

Ryan and Kyle

 

 

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Wouldn’t It Be Amazing If…
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 12.16.2013 Editorial

Hope everyone is gearing up for the holiday season! Many projects and gift ideas are rampant all over the web or on this site. You can find Ryan’s Tutorial roundups handy or find a gift idea amongst the numerous devices covered in our posts. And with the holiday cheer, I thought I would try to reboot a feature I tried to run earlier covering any ideas that I happen to think up during the week, no matter how insane they are.

Taser Wallets

With numerous tragic events creating controversial gun control movements, self defense has had to reach for more unique options than the trusty firearm. Brass knuckle keyrings, stylish containers of mace pepper spray, hidden knives in shoes, or the ephemeral self defense course have become avenues of safety for many citizens looking for empowerment and simply a safe walk from whatever late night establishment they frequent. But in the face of a more cunning or aggressive crook, specifically down the barrel of gun, deception may be the best case.

Decoy wallets, for example, are essential to the clever pedestrian’s arsenal, but what if someone were to take it one step further? Upon the opening of the decoy wallet, two electrodes spring out and latch onto your would-be robber and offer a liberal shock. Replace that with a billowing cloud of pepper powder and you have a line of self defense items. Just be sure not to open said wallet at one of your late night establishments.

Augmented Reality Statistics

Google Glass is slowly moving toward mainstream availability and augmented reality apps already exist in multitudes on our phones. Why not take advantage of the science fiction-esque possibilities? Imagine knowing simply facts such as that it’s that person’s birthday today or a handful of other notifications by having the information hover over their heads.

Or perhaps include information that helps us connect. An app that allows the perceptibility to small talk with strangers display may help those who wish to meet new people, but are inclined to shy away. Even using this technology as name tags would provide even the smallest of benefits to any social gathering. Privacy is dead, but instead of taking on an all-or-nothing attitude, why not take control over the information you share and use it to better connect with others?

Want Some More?

Hope you like my ramblings. Be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more!

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DesignSpark: Better Than Eagle? – A New Look At PCB Design Software
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 12.11.2013 Editorial

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The PCB design software market is admittedly a little stagnant. Newcomers often traverse old forum posts where PCB veterans suggest the same few design applications for the same few superficial reasons. The bottom line is that until recently, there were only a few good offerings and most engineers choose by experience or comfort with a particular brand of PCB software.

EAGLE is one very popular PCB design software created by Germany-based Cadsoft Computer GmbH. The name “EAGLE” is almost ubiquitous with amateur PCB design, probably due partly to its freeware option but certainly mostly due to the fact that everyone keeps mentioning it whether for better or worse. Yeah, I’m guilty too.

In a number of forums you’ll see mentions of KiCAD, EAGLE, gEDA, Fritzing, ExpressPCB, and AutoTRAX DEX. They range from free to commercial products, but regardless of their cost they all seem to be good for different reasons and it’s best to try out a bunch of them before deciding which to use for a project. Take a look at this comparison on Wikipedia for starters.

EAGLE is an old-timer: it’s been around for a while and as such has become somewhat of a standard. In fact, Sparkfun usually uploads EAGLE format files for their open-source hardware. The problem is that if you spend some time with EAGLE and then some more time with other, newer EDA (that’s Electronic Design Automation) software and you will realize that EAGLE’s UI is definitively out of date. In an industry of software where the features are similar across the board, it’s the user interface and user experience that makes all of the difference.

With the number of more modern EDA products on the market that are free, many of which have fewer (to no) board size restrictions than EAGLE Free, I think it’s worth taking a detailed look at several EDA options for PCB design newcomers.

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Noah Huppert’s Leap Motion Marionette
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 10.11.2013 Editorial

Young talent is often as inspiring, if not more inspiring than older role models.

We met Noah Huppert, 15 years of age, displaying his motion controlled marionettes at the Maker Faire in New York.  The demonstration uses a Leap Motion device to track hand movements which translate to control of a marionette rendered on his laptop.  The puppet program is built atop the Unity game engine.

Noah (second from left) explains his Leap Motion Marionette to the crowd at the Maker Faire.

Noah (second from left) explains his Leap Motion Marionette to the crowd at the Maker Faire.

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Tech Marinade’s Trip to the World Maker Faire! (Part 2)
by Kyle Patrick Cayabyab ▪ 9.26.2013 Editorial
Busting some moves

Busting some moves

Returning to the World Maker Faire with tired legs and shorts this time, Tech Marinade seeked out the Makers that were missed on day one. Check out Part 1 of this feature if you missed out!

Faigle Labs

Making it possible for anyone to build a ridiculously large quad-rotor.

Making it possible for anyone to build a ridiculously large quad-rotor.

Faigle Labs introduced a take on the quad rotor as it presented its first product. What looks like  a mix between GI Joe and Power Ranger Megazords is essentially a kit providing users with the ability to construct their own custom quad rotors. This kit comes with just the control board, users will have to find their own RC helicopters or construct their own rotors. On the bright side, a phone app is available that will allow for increase customize-ability and configuration options.

Non professionals can obtain this kit for free once it hits launch! There will be a charge for commercial use.

Gabotronics

World's Smallest Oscillascopes

World’s Smallest Oscilloscopes

Sporting the world’s smallest oscilloscopes, electrical engineer Gabriel Anzziani and his company Gabotronics seek to provide small tools for makers and engineers. The Xprotolab may be the key to making electrical analysis more accessible and open up the door to more DIY innovations. Anzziani has also recently begun a kickstarter for a more stylish take on the Xprotolab. An oscilloscope watch. You can also read more about Gabotronics here.

You can pick up the Xprotolab for $49.

E&M Labs – Skallops

A fun way to create on the fly

A fun way to create on the fly

Offering creative pathways for children and adults alike to build entertaining contraptions, E&M Labs presented Skallops. These clam-like pieces act as versatile connectors for card based creations or anything else one can imagine. Tech Marinade had a joyous time making planes and a hat that ended up become a mask reminiscent of Bane. E&M Labs have launched a series of successful Kickstarters and is a company to look out for.

You can grab the Junior Set for $19.95!

Vision Education & Media – Robofun

Promoting tech to children, one robotic step at a time

Promoting tech to children, one robotic step at a time

For over 15 years, Laura Allen has been working with teachers and children promoting technology based learning. To accomplish this, Robofun, an educational program teaching robotics and game design to children was started by Vision Education & Media. There are currently over 60 programs around the New York area with funding from many partners and affiliates. This is a wonderful opportunity for parents to let their child explore their technological interests.

VoltSet

Making smart phones even smarter

Making smart phones even smarter

Bringing more ease to the maker and engineer, Tom Wang created the VoltSet smartphone multimeter. This device being no larger than a deck of cards allows for increased effectiveness and lowered encumbrance that many of the brick like multimeters cannot provide. The VoltSet is currently available for preorder from the main website. You can read more about our thoughts here.

More to come…

We have seen some fascinating creations at the World Maker Faire and have met even more fascinating people! Detailed articles on our finds, even ones mentioned here, will be rolling out over the next week.

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